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Journal and Research Impact

Find Journal Bibliometrics and Impact Factors

Journal Impact Factor (Journal Citation Reports, by Clarivate Analytics)

If a journal title is not found in Journal Citation Reports, see if it is included in the Web of Science Master List.  If not, the journal is unlikely to have a Journal Impact Factor since JCR includes only titles from the Master List.  

CiteScore (by Elsevier)

Eigenfactor Score

Eigenfactor Scores through 2015 are freely provided on its web page.  Current Eigenfactor Scores can be found either through Journal Citation Reports or by visiting a journal's web page.  

CWTS Journal Indicators (by Leiden University)


Journal Web Sites

Journal-level metrics can often be found on a journal's website if it was given one.  See its "About" section, or "Journal Home," "Overview," or similar areas of the journal web site.  See the example and links below.

A journal's web site should also provide contact information for their editors and editorial board who may be able to advise. 

What if I can't find the Journal Impact Factor or other bibliometric for a journal?

When this happens, it is not necessarily a mark of a poor quality or low impact publication  Here are some reasons a journal may not have one:

  1. Publication norms by discipline:  Fields that rely on peer-reviewed journals for communicating scholarly or creative activity, or those with high citation density (that is, frequently or very highly cite previous works) use journal metrics more than fields that do not.  Many science, technology, and health science fields use metrics while most in arts and humanities do not; the latter communicates more through monographs (books) or secondary sources, or by making creative works (musical scores, performances, art).

  2. Indexing:  Academic publishers (Elsevier or Clarivate Analytics) or organizations (SCImago, CTWS) generate their metrics from indexes that have a list of select journals.  The CiteScore is given to most Elsevier journals and other publications in the Scopus index while a Journal Impact Factor is given to journals indexed in the Web of Science Master List.  If a journal does not have a metric, it may not had been included in one or both of these indexes.

  3. Age of publication:  Blbliometrics are generated for a given year by analyzing a work or author's prior years of activity.  If a publication is less than 3 years old, it will not have enough data to create a bibliometric. Also, journals that are included in indexes are evaluated on its characteristics; the length of time it has been published is one consideration for inclusion.

  4. Open Access publications:  Its age may be a reason for not having a bibliometric if it is less than 3 years old.  Also, some OA publications may not yet be included in the indexes of major academic publishers.

  5. Location and language of publication: Indexes include fewer journals that are published in emerging research nations in proportion to those published in western Europe and North America.  Indexes include more journals published in the English language and include fewer published in other world languages.

What is a good bibliometric score or JIF?

It depends.  Various disciplines measure their publications differently from one another, and also have differences in their publishing norms.  One shortcoming of bibliometrics is some types are not normalized for field differences.   

Here is a comparison of a library and information science journal when compared to a medical journal.  Keep in mind that medicine has a longer publishing history and relies heavily on published articles in comparison to library science, which account for the big differences in JIF.

Highest Ranking Journals:
Field:  Library & Information Science 
International Journal of Information Management
Established 1980.  5.063 (JIF), 4,885 total cites. 

Field:  Medicine, General & Internal
New England Journal of Medicine
Established 1828.  70.870 (JIF), 344,591 total cites.

Also, the length of time a publication has been in existence and the number of its articles cited influence its bibliometric indicators; publications that are long-established tend to be favored.  In summary, a standardized ranking or scale that identifies "high impact" for all disciplines does not exist.

How can I determine impact factor or metric ranges?

1.  Keep in mind that not all scholarly journals are included in indexes like Scopus or Web of Science; those that are not included typically do not have journal metrics.

2.  Use tools such as Scopus Preview (CiteScore) and others like it to identify metrics.

3.  Comparisons.  Comparing journals with others in a field or discipline is not an exact science; disciplines often overlap in what they study, and their boundaries can be unclear.  However, comparisons can be done for exploratory purposes.  For this example, a geoscientist can get an idea of CiteScore ranges for journals in his or her field (with 31.07 being the highest to 3.71 being the lowest in 2018), and possibly mention this range in a review or for a P&T bid.

Last updated on Nov 18, 2022 4:47 PM